Daniel in PT gym

Jul 02, 2019 / Spotlight

Get to Know our SRH Staff: Daniel Stokes, Physical Therapy

What is your role at the hospital? What do you do on a daily basis? 
I am a sports physical therapist. I assess, examine, plan and treat athletes. Most of my time is used looking at movement proficiency to make sure an athlete is moving well. I will typically differentiate movement into two categories: dysfunctional/functional and painful/non-painful patterns. I will then breakout these movement patterns to find the cause of the issue that the athlete is dealing with. This allows me to focus on the cause, and not just the symptoms.
Because of my interest in golf, I have completed special training with Titleist Performance Institute. With a TPI Medical Certification, I have enhanced my expertise as a physical therapist with a solid understanding of the mechanics of a golf swing. I also enjoy evaluating and working with baseball players.
What led you to Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children? How long have you worked here?
I have worked at the hospital for two years. Prior to physical therapy school, I worked in sports performance as a certified strength and conditioning specialist. I knew I wanted to work with athletes and the values of the hospital really aligned with mine. Another physical therapist, Lorenzo Vite, brought me on and shared that the sports medicine team was expanding with the addition of the Frisco location. Having the opportunity to be mentored by Lorenzo, plus the opportunity to put patients first, has been incredibly fulfilling.
What do you enjoy most about Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children?
Pediatric sports physical therapy is rewarding and fun. Being able to work with athletes, no matter their background, is truly a special opportunity. I have the chance to influence young athletes and, in some cases, I will spend up to 24 weeks with them while in rehabilitation. Over time, we develop trust and a strong relationship. The best part of my job is when a patient states that he or she feels better and stronger than before their injury. That means I did my job. I want them to return to their sport with confidence. To sum it up, being able to impact the life of an athlete, long past their injury, is what I enjoy most about working for the hospital. 
What was your first job? What path did you take to become a PT?
After receiving my degree in kinesiology from West Texas A&M University (go Buffs!), my first job was an internship in strength and conditioning at Texas Christian University. This led to a graduate assistant position in strength and conditioning for two years at the University of Texas at Arlington. There, I trained athletes in men’s golf, tennis, volleyball, basketball, track & field, softball and baseball. I also received my master's degree in exercise physiology. From there, I worked at an elite training facility in North Texas working with youth, college and professional athletes, as well as some Olympic athletes and teams. At this facility, I met Lorenzo Vite, who is currently our senior physical therapist at Scottish Rite for Children. He made a huge impact in my decision to change careers and pursue a doctorate in physical therapy and I am grateful for his influence.
What do you like to do in your spare time? 
Lots of family time with my wife of nine years, Bethany, and our two little girls, Lucy and Stella. We have two dogs, Bear and Reagan. We are very involved with Citizens Church and when time allows, I enjoy playing golf and cooking out with the neighbors. 
What would you do (for a career) if you weren’t doing this?
I love my job. I would still choose to work in the golf industry, working on golf performance, biomechanics and injury prevention.

Where is your favorite golf course? Where do you want to play some day?
My favorite golf course right now is The Outlaw golf course in New Mexico. I spend most of my time playing at Westridge Golf Course in McKinney, Texas. Dream course would be at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California.

Are you a golfer? Learn more from Daniel on how to warm up the RITE way. 

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